Police, land powers to PCs a debatable issue - Govt.

‘ Two thirds of 13th A implemented’

by Zacki Jabbar

While an Indian delegation headed by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was scheduled to arrive in Colombo today, the government says that two thirds of the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution had been implemented.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo yesterday, said that the speedy enforcement of the 13th Amendment had been affected due to the war with the LTTE. However, nearly two thirds of its provisions have already taken effect.

The devolution of police and land powers to the North and East of the country was a debat able issue, since some of the Tamil political parties were opposed to it, he said adding that the Tamil National Alliance was not the sole representative of Tamils.

In implementing the provisions of the 13 th Amendment, the security and sovereignty of the country has to be given prime consideration, Rambukwella said. "The same principle applies to the repeal of Emergency Regulations. It is being done in stages"

The Indian delegation, which would include Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Defence Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, was to request the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime to fully implement the 13th Amendment, including land and police powers to the provinces, it is learnt.

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